With headlines evolving month to month, we wanted to find out what the Sheffield property market will look like for the rest of this year and beyond. unLTD’s Georgina Kerr spoke to local estate agent Redbrik to find out more.

In their latest house price index, Rightmove reported another rise in Yorkshire property prices, reaching a record high for the sixth consecutive month. With an updated prediction from Rightmove on annual house price changes now sitting at seven per cent, it does not come as a surprise to hear that buyer demand in Sheffield remains high.

Buying in Sheffield

At Redbrik, potential buyers and sellers are registered in the estate agent’s client database, powered by Street. A leader in estate agency software, the Street Group are constantly working with agents to improve their day-to-day workflow and the experience agents offer their clients. Street provides the Redbrik team with all the information they need to easily identify buying trends, including who is buying, where they’re buying and what they’re buying.

Looking at their sales data, Redbrik tells us that first-time buyers are making a big impact in the city centre, with a third of this year’s sales in the area purchased by registered first-time buyers. New apartment buildings in Sheffield including Burgess House at the Heart of the City and Cotton Mill Row in Kelham Island have both been incredibly popular developments with new buyers.  Support from Help to Buy and other government schemes also means that first-time buyers of new builds can purchase their first home with as little as a five per cent deposit. This makes new developments across Sheffield an excellent choice for anyone in search of their first home.

Returning to the city

Over the last month, Rightmove has reported a total of 68,647 searches for properties in the S1 and S2 postcodes. This is a huge number for just four weeks, showing that buyers are still very interested in city centre properties. With buyer demand up 26 per cent since 2019, the need for prospecting within estate agency has grown. Spectre, the prospecting service from Street, is one way to make this process simpler for agents.

Mark Ross, managing director at Redbrik said: “Home movers are now more certain and specific in their property requirements than ever. Movers want to be closer to where it’s all happening, but they also want to maintain the home and outdoor space they got used to during lockdown.”

Prospecting is one way of identifying more properties which meet these buyer demands. Homeowners who hadn’t previously thought about moving are introduced to the idea that there are buyers interested in properties matching their home’s specification through postcards from their local Redbrik agent.

Of course, when we think of city centre homes and the reasons people are moving into Sheffield, we have to consider the part all our new businesses play. From cafes and bars to independent shops, there is a diverse range of retailers now taking up city centre space. So far this year searches for city centre activities have seen a 128 per cent increase compared to the same search terms five years ago with ‘Restaurants near me’ seeing a large jump of 56 per cent. These new retailers are just one appealing feature to city centre buyers and renters, so it is no surprise that with superb new venues like these we are seeing an increase in interest for city centre homes.

So with this in mind, how is Sheffield adapting to meet buyers’ needs?

Investment in Sheffield

With both outdoor and indoor space at the forefront of buyers’ minds, towns and cities must evolve. The Heart of the City project is a huge part of the current effort to create a space that people are excited about in the city centre. Comprised of beautiful apartments, community parks, contemporary office space and so much more, Sheffield City Council’s Heart of The City Masterplan will create 1.5 million sqft. of multi-use space perfect for welcoming the growing city population.

Buyers are also more aware than ever of the natural environment and place a high value on the time they spend outdoors. In November 2021, Sheffield was named as the UK’s greenest city, scoring highly for the number of green spaces, how the city manages waste and recycling, and renewable energy production. With so much outdoor space, and plans to create more, Sheffield can easily be presented as the best of both worlds for movers looking to relocate. Looking to the future of energy efficiency in property, we are also preparing for the introduction of new EPC legislation in 2025. Currently properties only require an EPC rating of E or above, however under new rules all newly rented homes will have to be rated at a C as a minimum.

At the beginning of this year, Property Investor Today named Sheffield as an investment hotspot for 2022 and during the last six months, Redbrik has seen an increasing number of investors registering their interest for buy-to-let properties. Alongside buyer registrations, there has also been a growing number of lettings applicants from the south of England, particularly London, who are interested in relocating to Sheffield. Whether they have family roots, because of the city’s excellent commuter links, or just because of the proximity to the Peaks, Sheffield is the place to be.